Want to get really shit-faced at the next party? Skip the drinks and go for the Vaportini. The device basically heats liquor into vapor form, allowing the user to inhale it through a straw. The alcohol then bypasses the digestive system and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. Talk about a contact high—the Vaportini reportedly provides the user with an instant and intense buzz.
Parents, however, have been warned about the dangers of the device should teenagers gain access to it.
“It is ill-advised for experimentation among those under 21,” Thomas Greenfield, Center Director at the National Alcohol Research Center in Emeryville, Calif., told the Daily Mail. “There could be inexperienced people at parties under peer pressure who may find themselves using this method of alcohol consumption. It might not be possible to self-regulate their consumption and teenagers just like adults can be drunk drivers too.”
Greenfield also warned that during laboratory studies, rats were found to be more susceptible to alcohol addiction through inhalation.
“To my knowledge there have been no human studies on the effect of inhaling alcohol,” he said. “Certainly in lab rats they have experimented with vapor chambers and animals experimented upon have high levels of intoxication and addiction.”
Although the Vaportini is legal, it closely resembles in function the Alcohol without Liquid Device which was banned in 22 states nearly a decade ago. Unlike the AWOL, however, the Vaportini does not promise zero side effects and does warn its consumption will be detected by a blood alcohol test.
So, as long as the Vaportini is used as a party favor and not in place of a glass of wine with dinner, what’s the harm, right?
“At the end of the day, it’s just a new way for adults to enjoy alcohol in a different manner,” Kevin Morse, president of Greensboro N.C.’s Spirit Partners, which markets the AWOL, told the Daily Mail.
The $35 Vaportini was created by Chicagoan Julie Palmer in 2009, who now says, “If the Vaportini doesn’t take off, we should market it to stoners as the vodka bong.”